Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    January 29, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

7:00 pm
going to reveal what i know here, but i think for the miller center it is important to establish, if you are interested in this, what, why did star disappear off that list? the secondo that souter as i think you -- because after star was off the list, silverman had just done the iran-contra decision, so he was off the list, so our choices were constrained. souter did vote conservatively, at least for a year or so. jan crawford now cbs political director has and former reporter on legal issues, has documented in her book that he did change his voting pattern. i don't think any one knows why but he did. one final about thomas, i agree, fred, he wasn't a constitutional expert but he was administrative law expert and he was asked during his confirmation hearing before the anita hill, what were
7:01 pm
the two most important decisions that were decided since you were in law school? he thought the question was when i was in law school. so he answered grigs versus power and roe v. wade. he was asked the question again as if he had given a stupid answer. he answered grigs and rowe. i stand by my answer. the answer is pretty good for since he was in law school because we checked with -- to see what issues provoked the most democratic questions during his confirmation hearings, and the two issues that garnered by far the most questions were, yep, you guessed it, grigs and roe vs. wade. >> other questions? >> i'd like somebody on the panel to explain the star
7:02 pm
reference that was made. >> i got him confirmed. i didn't select them. >> i know the rumors. i'm not going to answer. >> if we stop tweeting will you tell us, boyd? >> president bush probably worked out more deals with probably ross 10kowski and benson he ran against and lost. still most of the major legislation went through benson.
7:03 pm
>> the other thing, tom, is that one of the things that occurred early on, in fact, when the president first talked to me about taking the job, thiscy think in my oral history i said look, i know you got a bunch of buddies on the hill. you've been around this town a long time. just promise me that you will let me know when you have conversations with them that have something to do with my job. don't hold that back from me. i mean, you all can talk about playing in the gym and that kind of stuff, that's fine. but if it has something to do with your agenda i need to know about it and the president was quite fulfilled the promise he made to me in that situation. but it kind of created a different sort of environment dealing with congress because when he had conversations with members, despite the fact that we'd give him the talking points and the things we wanted him to engender to try to get from a
7:04 pm
member, most of the time when -- particularly dealing with guys and gals he had a relationship, they were quite productive conversations and i think that we saw the benefit of it. whether it was our ada stuff or the stuff that we did with clean air, it was because of these relationships that people wouldn't lie to him. you could trust -- i used to operate on the premise that they call lie meaning all members of congress and that you can't trust them. but it was -- there was a relationship that existed between the president and members of congress primarily i think because of his service there and his eight years as vice president, it's not like he had been out of town for eight years. and so he had a number of relationships which were deep. and that, i think, contributed greatly to the success we had once we figured out where we were going to land in terms of within which principles we were going to use to do legislation.
7:05 pm
>> i want to thank the panel and i think you should too. [ applause ] >> each week american history tv's american artifacts takes viewers into archive and sites around the country. the smithsonian national museum will open a new building in 2015. american history tv spoke with lonnie bunch t founding director, about the new facility. and later we travel with mr. bunch to the museum storage site in a washington, d.c. suburb where he shows us some of the artifacts that will be on display in the new building. >> right now we are in the offices of the national museum of african-american history and culture, where my staff and i will be until the museum opens in 2015.
7:06 pm
six years ago i started with a staff of two, no place to know for sure where the museum was going to be, no sense what if the museum was going to look like. today we have a wonderful architect who created this wonderful model i'm standing next to. this is the model that gives a sense of what the building will look like when it's erected right next to the washington monument. the cost of this building is a wonderful public/private partnership. the building will cost $500 million, congress has committed to paying 50%, and i'm committed to raising 50% of those costs. one of the joys of this building is that it's got this beautiful bronze skin that will be sort of glistening in the sun. what's wonderful about it is that it has on it a certain patterning, and what that is,
7:07 pm
those are patterns based on african-american slaves' crafts people in charleston and in new orleans who in the 19th century created beautiful iron work so this, in a way, is a homage to those unnamed people who did so much to sort of build the united states. then what i love about it is that usually when you go into a building on the mall, you're in the building. what we want to do is recognize that you're on the mall so we want to offer people wonderful vistas, because this is going to be right next to the washington monument, in the shadow of the white house. you'll be able to see the lincoln memorial, the jefferson, over at arlington cemetery, so what we've created is a porch. so that the public will be able to come in and go out on a porch, and look at the views of washington. maybe have a cup of coffee, talk about what they have seen in the museum or seen in other smithsonian museums. we want the public to recognize
7:08 pm
that this building has to do several things. while it's a museum first and foremost we want it to enrich the visitor's experience on the mall, we want them to be able to get views they haven't gotten at other places, we want them to understand that they are in washington, d.c. when they visit this mall so we'll tell a little bit of that history as well. the real question one would ask is why is there a need for a new museum, especially a museum that looks at african-american history and culture. i would argue first of all the way we're framing this museum is to recognize that on the one hand it's this wonderful opportunity to understand the african-american experience, to help people understand the stories that they thought they know in new ways, but to really understand the deep richness and importance of african-american culture. what makes this important is that we want to use this museum as a lens to explore what it means to be an american, so in essence, this is not simply a museum for african-americans
7:09 pm
about african-american history. this is an opportunity to create a national museum that allows us all to understand the role that african-american culture has played in shaping all of our lives. one of the challenges when i came back to do this museum is to recognize that i have to build a collection, that at the smithsonian you could have wonderful technology but you've got to have the iconic treasure, you've got to have the greensboro lunch counter or the wright flyer so. what we're going to do this morning is we're going to go out to our storage area, out in maryland, to give you a sense of just some of the wonderous collections that we've been able to find. right now we're in the storage units of the national museum of african-american history and culture. in essence, this is the heart of the museum because what's behind me and what we'll see today are
7:10 pm
many of the objects that are going to be the soul of this museum. so this is an opportunity to sort of preview some of the material that the public will see when the museum opens its doors. one of the things that is cruciall see is that so much of the museum's time and resources are spent on caring for the collections. that we have amazing experts who know how to preserve and make sure this material will be with us for generations. and we've opened this storage unit and we are coming to this wonderful piece of head gear. this is a boxing head gear that was worn by muhammad ali. as we know, that in many ways muhammad ali started his career as a boxer but then transformed himself into a cultural and political leader.
7:11 pm
and we all know the story of his gold medal in rome in 1960, his heavyweight championship, but what was clear is that ali became a symbol of unrest in america when he began to claim both his blackness and his desire to sort of campaign against the war in vietnam. this piece of equipment was crucial to ali's career and for us to have this allows us to interpret muhammad ali from many lenses. this piece is from the fifth street jam in miami where ali trained early in his career. one of the things that is so important is to realize how much goes behind the scenes in making a museum work. and in this case, because in essence we had to start from scratch, not only did we have to build the collection, find all of this material, but then build a system to protect it. build the systems to track it
7:12 pm
and build the systems to allow us to exhibit it. so it really is this long complicated process that takes many years to complete. what happens when you are trying to build a museum is the notion of getting these collections, so one of the challenges is the variety of where you should do this. early in my career it was pretty easy that people sort of felt the desire to give to the smithsonian, but then as times changed these things became a commodity, you have planet hollywood and hard rock cafe. suddenly people began to see these as a way to make money so. what we have is a variety of ways to build the collection. we still have people who are great donors, that we court and we talk to, about donating material to the smithsonian. we also get over the tran sum collecting, people call or say i've got this cool thing, do you want it. sometimes it's cool, sometimes it's a copy. but so we have to be very careful about what happens
7:13 pm
because often when you create a museum you are so embrace sif that then 30, 40 years later you've got material that you really don't need so we're trying to be careful when we collect. you also at times go after auction or purchase things that are really rare. what we try to do is limit that, but to do that with things that are really hard to do. it's hard to get sometimes civil warrior material or slavery material, sometimes it's hard to get fine art so we really do try to go out and judiciously acquire things through auctions and purchase. but the goal is to basically have a variety of mechanisms that allow us to build this collection. one of the joys of this process is realizing just what's out there. there are many things that you want, that you hope to find, but you're convinced you're never going to find it. right here we're looking at two
7:14 pm
artifacts that i was convinced didn't exist. these are materials that are related to harriet tubman, the great abolitionist and underground railroad conductor. you're looking at a shawl that was given to harriet tubman by queen victoria of england as a way to honor her resiliency and the work that she's done in terms of being a champion of freedom. and what i love is that not only did we get this from a collector, but he gave us this gospel hymnal that harriet tubman owned. what is powerful, when harriet tubman would go south often to alert the slave it was time to go, she would sing various hymnals, swing low sweet chariot, steal away jesus. harriet couldn't read but the fact that she carried this personal hymnal with her for a large part of her life was a very moving and powerful piece.
7:15 pm
and it seems to me that this museum has to tell what is one of the most painful stories in america which is the story of enslavement. and there are few things as powerful as a shackle. these are the kind of shackles that were used during the period of enslavement. and what people forget is that slavery is also about control and ol trying to coerce people to do unpaid labor. what i think we want to do is to be able to interpret slavery both as a system that helped the country economically, and as a system that was shaped by the people who lived it, but also recognizing that the enslavement of people continues to shape the way americans' identities is and the way americans live to this day. and here is a really special artifact, much like the harriet
7:16 pm
tubman material we couldn't believe. this is a bible that we think was owned by nat turner. nat turner was an enslaved african who led a revolt in 1831, he led what was considered the largest slave revolt, and when nat turner was eventually captured, he had a sword and this bible. and the fact that this was passed on in the families and eventually donated to us is very powerful artifact that allows us to tell a story that is often left out which is the st rebellion and desire for freedom at all costs. one of the things that is really interesting about a museum is that on the one hand you tell these grand stories. but on the other hand what you want to do is personalize it. and right here is really a simple document, a piece of paper that i but what it is, it's a bill of sale
7:17 pm
for a young woman named polly who was a 16-year-old mag sold to another. in the 19th century. what i think is so about this is to recognize that on the one hand this is a legal document. on the other hand this is the story of a people, this is the story of a woman's life, and so for us, to be able to personalize slavery through things like this mean that we're going to be able to help the public not just understand but care. and again, as we've said, some of these are so priceless and the way they have to be handled by expert s like michelle here, there is one of the prize objects we have. the story of african-americans and the american revolution is often rarely told. and this is a powder horn that was carved by an enslaved african named prince simbo. he lived in connecticut, he
7:18 pm
fought in the american revolution, from 1778 to about 1782. what is powerful about this, first of all because he carved it we know a lot about him. but on the other side of it is this amazing sort of symbol. it is the dove and the mouth of the dove is the word liberty. so the notion of an enslaved african being the person to help define what liberty means in america is really a very important piece for us. this is going to be one of those rare things that people are going to be surprised to see. and keeping with this theme of the sort of military experience, one of the things we know is that african-americans from the revolutionary war really through afghanistan used the military as a wayworth, to prove they are worthy of citizenship. this was never truer than during the civil war. what you see here are two types
7:19 pm
of civil war soldiers. and as you may know, that by 1863, thousands of african-americans became soldiers in the union army, so you'll be able to sort of see that they had these images taken, part as a way to document but part as a way to symbolize the pride of making transformation from being enslaved or even being free but being discriminated against, to be able to fight for your freedom. one of the things that is so interesting are the little things you find. so, what we have is an amber type of sergeant quarless tibs, and what is powerful is that there were also sort of informal i.d. badges that were made during the civil war, and this is his little badge that talks about his name and so the fact that we have an image, we have the badge, again allows us to personalize these stories. and because the story of the african-american experience is a
7:20 pm
broader story, a story about us all, one of the joys is artifacts like this. this is a trunk that was carried by an officer of the 55th massachusetts. you remember ridge i meants were segregated but the officers tended to be white. this trunk was owned by george garrison who was the son of the abolitionist william lloyd garrison. he served in the 55th massachusetts which was the companion unit to the more famous 54th. and i think that being able to make sure that we're telling the full richness of the story from variety of perspectives this kind of trunk allows us to do just that. not only is it a historically significant trunk, but it's to use the scholarly term, pretty cool. and so to get a sense of thinking about army life, what you could put in here, you in essence put in all of who you are, your belongings, your
7:21 pm
clothing, and this is what you carry with us. so this is a great case that's going to allow us to help people really understand a lot about what life was like during a civil war era. this story of the african-american experience is both a story of resiliency, achievement, but it's also a story of struggle. and one of the hard parts of exploring this history is that often the people who were at the worst tended to be other americans. so that makes it hard to interpret this because americans aren't used to being the bad guys. one of the things that is powerful is objects like this. that convey the sort of strong anti-black sentiment. this is a ku klux klan banner from the 1920s, the four k's the knights of the ku klux klan.
7:22 pm
the clan began after the civil war, goes underground and then sort of bursts new as a result of the film the birth of a nation, and the clan becomes not a southern phenomena but national in the 20s and 30s and this kind of banner is the kind of thing the people would sort of use to celebrate their investment and participation in the ku klux klan. so these are the kind of things that we have to make sure we tell the painful stories as well. and then i think that one of the things that is really interesting to me is to recognize that so much of what shapes a community is work. so, we wanted to make sure that we found things that would give people an understanding of the way black america worked. and one of the most important stories often a story not clearly understood, is the story of the pullman porter. this is a wonderful hat, in some
7:23 pm
ways we have become to a point where pullman porters were seen 18 stereotypical way as people who only served, who actually worked on the railroad to make sort of the travel of the elite white community comfortable. but the pullman porters played a more important role. they were in some ways the commune kative heart of the frirn american community. they began to bring to regions of the country an understanding of what was going on in the south, what was going on in california, and they became one of the earliest black unions, so they were very successful in the early 20th century in unionizing and establishing a pattern that many african-american entities and businesses would follow in the future so. for us, the pullman porter is both a story of work, it's a story of the limits of what people were able to do because they were african-americans, but it's also a story of how people transcended the limits of their
7:24 pm
job and created a way to help the entire community. and then in some ways, the whole notion of struggling against racism, battling segregation, is really at the heart of trying to understand this story. these two artifacts that we're about to look at speak volumes about segregation. on the one hand, we have what was something that was ubiquitous throughout the 20th century, colored drinking fountains, things that were sort of ensured that the separation of the races were enforced. and as we know, that segregation was the law of the land throughout part of the 19th century and all of the 20th century. so colored theater, colored hotels, colored drinking fountains were part of the way america lived. and what's fascinating they are
7:25 pm
hard to find now. what really moves me in addition to things like the colored drinking fountain, is really looking at the depths one went to segregate america. and one of the things that is so powerful is this lally kemp, a charity hospital in independence, louisiana. what i love about this is that this tells you clearly that race matters. when you look at the schedule of actual hospital services. on monday the colored could go to the gynecologist. but on tuesday that it was whites who could go for pediatrics, internal medicine. on wednesday, whites went to their gynecologist or had the dental services. so the notion that we were so rigidly segregated that hours of the day were determined based on the color of your skin. i think this is one of the most powerful objects we collected.
7:26 pm
this was an object that is not 100 years old. this is an object that really was sort of used from the sort of mid 1950s until medicare came in which basically then desegregated many of the hospital facilities. so, what we want people to realize is that segregation, while it has long roots, was not that long ago. one of the things we want to celebrate is that one of the most interesting things i think about american history is the struggle to make america live up to its stated ideals, the notion of people of all races, coming together to say we want to make america a different place. and one of the things we've collected is from a woman named joan mullholland who was an
7:27 pm
early snick worker. during time in the south one of the things she did was collect these buttons and badges that really speak volumes of the 1960s. you've got buttons that say freedom now, from the congress of racial equality, or buttons that say support sit-ins, or support the student nonviolent coordinating committee which is a crucially important organization. and what i like about this is that this really tells you about the kind of optimism and hope, there are a lot of buttons of black and white hands together. the notion that we would be able to transcend the kind of discrimination that existed. but also if you look carefully there is a button that is upside-down on this coat which is a white button that says never. this button that says never was really sort of button that many ardent segregationists carried
7:28 pm
to make clear that never would integration, never would blacks dominate whites and so i think this is a really important piece. but joan mullholland in addition to being part of snick brought us something i think is one of the most moving things we have, that is something that looks like simply pieces of broken glass, shards of glass. what these are is these are materials that were collected at the funeral of the four black girls who were killed in september of '63 with the birmingham church bombings. and joan mullholland and many of the other workers were there and she collected these shards from stained glass window of the 16th street baptist church and in the street was a shot gun shell. in many ways these shards speak volumes about broken lives, but they speak volumes about the sort of use of violence to control, to battle racial
7:29 pm
integration. but in some ways, something as simple as this speaks volumes to our audience. and violence is such a part of the way of understanding this. here is a button. this is a button that is a celebration of the life of martin luther king. these buttons were produced right after king was assassinated in april of 1968. and so in some ways this button gives the way people to be able to both symbolize their commitment to racial change, but as a way to remember the martyred life of martin luther king. in many ways the challenge of the 1960's is the transformation of america and what's the vision for that transformation. is it a vision of an integrated world, is it a vision of nonviolent sit-ins or were there

72 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on